I was born in Spokane and enjoyed living here until the age of 10,
when my father accepted a new job and the family moved to Bellingham for 8 years. As a kid, Marc [my younger brother by 13 months – we were known as the Irish twins!] and I played baseball and soccer. My dad taught us both how to chop wood early; I was six. After that, ‘seeing to the wood’ was a regular chore for both of us. Although I attended Pasadena and Ponderosa elementary schools here, my middle and high school years were spent in Bellingham.
When I was a senior, our baseball team competed for the state championship; I was a pitcher. We lost to Mt. Vernon High School. Ug!
One of the first life lessons I learned was at 11.
Dad took us boys hiking in the woods, complete with full packs. We traversed down to a valley, some 4,000 feet below where we’d started. Going down was hard enough, but climbing back up was especially grueling for two kids. Finally, when we reached our way back to the top, dad told us both,
“You’ll never know how high you can climb until you try” I never forgot this.
From a young age on,
Dad instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility and personal obligation to our country. I learned all about patriotism from him.
He taught me the importance of giving back to America in gratitude for all the freedoms this country has given to me.
I met and married my wife Viktoriya in 2008,
and what a blessing it is to share life with such a wonderful woman. She has also given me an incredible perspective on freedom after living under communist rule in Ukraine during her childhood.
Enduring religious persecution as a child Viktoriya’s
is a story of true courage. It is a lesson for all of us… a testimony of what happens when centralized government is unfettered by the chains of a Constitution and Bill of Rights.
We have a very large family
and that has instilled in me a sense of duty to make sure that our kids and grandkids are able to live in peace and prosperity and freedom. That means never compromising on principle and not basing decisions on whether it will get me re-elected. As my drill sergeant once told me,
“always be prepared to give up your career at a moments notice to do the right thing.”
- Matt Shea’s family has lived in Eastern Washington for four generations.
- His family ran one of the first stagecoaches in Washington.
- Matt grew up in Spokane Valley attending both Pasadena and Ponderosa elementary schools.
- Prior to graduating “cum Laude” from Gonzaga Law School, Matt earned both his BA in History and Political Science from Gonzaga University while completing ROTC as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
- Matt is currently the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church, Spokane.
- Matt is currently a practicing attorney. He is admitted to practice in Washington, the Eastern Washington Federal District Court, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Matt is also a small business owner and the nephew of the owner of one of the largest manufacturing companies in Spokane Valley.
DISTINGUISHED MILITARY CAREER
- Matt Shea has served his country in the United States Army with two combat tours overseas, including eight months in Bosnia as a platoon leader, and eleven months in Baghdad, Iraq, as a company commander.
- Matt was awarded both a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge among many other awards and commendations.
- Matt began his Military service as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Gonzaga University in 1996, and finished in the top 3 of his Officer Basic Course class. Later he was recognized as the top rated Captain in his Battalion.
- Currently Matt is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the National Infantry Association, and current member of the American Legion.
OTHER LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
- Matt was named “Rookie Legislator of the Year” (2009) and is currently the Assistant Minority Floor Leader.
- Currently, Matt served as Vice Chairman for the Eastern WA Army Advisory Board.
- Matt Shea was the co-founder of the Washington Family Foundation, which later merged with the Family Policy Institute of Washington.
- Matt is an allied attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and an affiliated attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute.